By Malcolm Bradbury
After spending a yr instructing in an American collage within the Nineteen Fifties, Malcolm Bradbury back to England simply to achieve that his local nation had develop into approximately as mystifying to him because the American Midwest. As Britain marched towards a brand new decade, a lot of the rustic used to be altering inexorably, its agrarian previous paved over by means of suburban builders, its quiet traditionalism changed via beehive hairdos and glossy, glass-walled workplace constructions. And so, to confront this curious second in British historical past, Bradbury grew to become to the sharpest instrument in his arsenal: humor. In All Dressed Up and Nowhere to move, he writes of a rustic balancing precariously at the boundary of 2 worlds, with the wry wit and keenly observant eye that experience made him one of many 20th century’s maximum satirists.
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Additional resources for All Dressed Up And Nowhere to Go: How Malcolm Bradbury Learned to Adjust to England and Englishness All Over Again
It actually occurred to me that the day might turn out to be good fun. This illusion was somewhat shattered once we got to the stable. Black Jack, who had been docile enough the day before until Jane started to go over fences, was in a wild-eyed lather this morning. Jane’s groom was trying to keep him still with the chain of a halter wrapped around the horse’s nose, but even so, he was dancing on his feet, snorting, trying to throw his head around, gnashing his teeth, weaving from side to side, and rolling his eyes.
The presence of a large number of other horses had momentarily calmed Black Jack, but the arrival shortly afterward of the hounds undid him completely. They came out of a black van, barking and baying, and eddied around the horses’ legs, tails up, while the red-coated huntsman and his assistants cracked their long whips to get them back in order. Had I been watching it on foot, I would have found it an interesting and colorful spectacle; seen from the saddle, it gave me the same kind of unsettling feeling in the pit of my stomach that soldiers must have experienced in the trenches on the western front during World War I, just before being ordered to go over the top and move forward into no-man’s-land.
In its own way, the house was as horsey as Jane’s, but at a higher, wealthier level: wonderful paintings of horses, including a few by George Stubbs himself, bronzes of horses from every era, shelf after shelf of gleaming polo trophies, some of them works of art in themselves. There was a pianist at the big white Steinway grand playing tunes from Cole Porter, Noel Coward, and Rogers and Hart, while the butler circulated through the room reﬁlling people’s glasses. It was all like stepping back into the 1920s.
All Dressed Up And Nowhere to Go: How Malcolm Bradbury Learned to Adjust to England and Englishness All Over Again by Malcolm Bradbury